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Author Topic: Why do we care?  (Read 9798 times)

Joe Cerniglia

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Why do we care?
« on: November 30, 2012, 05:26:05 AM »

I've not a lot of time to write this morning, but I thought I would write something in response to some posts expressing frustration with the challenges of the Earhart Project, notably Jeff Neville's comments on airplane wreckage and bodies sighted in the deep of Niku, which I hope will turn out to be an early retirement notification in the hallowed tradition of Frank Sinatra in 1971.

A little less than two years ago, Jeff penned a masterful summary (see reply #18), not of the evidence, but why we care about searching for two people who have not been seen by their fellow sojourners on this earth for more than 75 years.

I posted Jeff's comments at that time to the EPAC, and they elicited these remarks from TIGHAR Board of Directors member and frequent Nikumaroro expeditioner Art Carty, who has graciously allowed me the permission to post them to the forum.  Keep in mind this is a philosophical statement of purpose, not a declaration that TIGHAR has proven Earhart and Fred Noonan died on Nikumaroro. I say this for the more argumentative who like to make such things indictments of TIGHAR's false optimism rather than its clear-eyed purpose in doing the work that it does:

Joe, thanks.

Well, I guess I am going to share something I didn't plan on sharing.........

The last evening we were at Niku (Friday June 11), the plan was to have dinner on the two boats and then to set sail at best speed for Samoa.  It was a new moon and very dark.  As we went north from the Tatiiman Passage past the wreck of the Norwich City, we could see the pitch black profile of Niku against the star-lit sky.  After seeing the 7 Site and the crabs, it was chilling to think of Amelia and Fred sitting in the dark, hearing the rustling of the hermit crabs as their borrowed shells scraped against the coral rubble, as they wondered how they would be able to get any sleep at all and knowing that the planes from the Colorado had not seen them and that they were completely on their own.

In the "quest" to find out what happened there, it is easy to forget that two very real people died there, and that their deaths were not pretty or glorious or heroic but horrific.  I am sure that every one on Niku VI had their own reactions to being there but, for me, in the most real sense, this isn't about rouge, DNA, bones, and artifacts; it is about the fate of two human beings. That's what struck me that night.
Jeff and Art have written their own reasons for caring, but I'm sure that others could be written that would be equally compelling, and if you'd like to add yours in this space, I'm sure it would be a welcome addition.  And Jeff, if this brings you out of early retirement, please let me know as well.

Joe Cerniglia

Tom Swearengen

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Re: Why do we care?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2012, 07:21:01 AM »

Well Joe---I'll give this a try. I'm not as eloquent as you, or Jeff, or Art, but here goes.
I've always been interested in the unexplained, or mysterious. My dad always told me that there had to be a reason for everything. So, things like the Lost City of Atlantis, Bimini Road, the Bermuda Triangle, UFO's, always got my curiousity. Then, sometime in the mid 1960's, he bought the book, the Search for Amelia Earhart, by Fred Goerner. Having been around aircraft most of my life, I was intriqued by the fact that she and Fred were 'missing', and had not been found. Well, that started a long journey in my mind as to what happened.

A few times through the years, I've thought about it, but never came up with anything that was conclusive. Well, several years ago, a guy named Ric Gillespie, was giving a news conference about Amelia Earhart, and having been on an Island in the Phoenix group, looking for clues. The mystery was reopened for me. I casually kept up with the search, seeing more and more professionals getting involved, and making contributions. Several years ago, I stumbled on the Tighar website, can began to read about the expeditions, the artifacts, and the amount of information gathered.

For me, Tighar seemed to be the only organization actively looking into the mystery, and making a gallant effort to solve it. I was fortunate to meet Jeff Neville through Tighar. Jeff, as it turns out lives 'close' to me. I found a friend that was a passionate about the search as I was. He didnt think I was crazy (well maybe a little), unlike most people I talked to about AE. Through Jeff and Tighar, I met alot of other very professional people, the seemed very grounded and sane to me. They all had different ideas about what happened, but in general, they all were interested in finding the answers. Several months ago, we all came together as a group to 'discuss' the project. Again, ALOT of professionals, and some people like me, fans of the mystery, gathered, talked, ate, exchanged differing ideas, but we all were there for AE.

So, after all of this, for me 46 years, are we any closer to solving the mystery? Gee----I dont know. AE and her story will always be a part of my life. Whether Tighar is able to solve this, remains to be seen.
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297

Hilary Christine Olson

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Re: Why do we care?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2012, 07:36:08 AM »

Very Thoughtful ,Respectful and Relevant.
Thank You Hilary

To Anyone Else
Whatever your personal opinion, Amelia Earhart did things that people today would or could not do .
Her ,"Courage " poem which I call her soul definition,seeps into my consciousness in the darndest of times and  gives even me the oomph to continue on many levels with zest and dignity .
It just seeped in again when I read Jeff & Arts via Joe posts
« Last Edit: November 30, 2012, 07:38:36 AM by Hilary Christine Olson »

william patterson

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Re: Why do we care?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2012, 01:29:51 PM »

I think as time passes less will care, especially younger people. Look at the trash on TV now. They don't care about explorers, and bravery. They only care about themselves, and today's fun. So hope it's found soon.

Vahe Demirjian

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Re: Why do we care?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2012, 03:56:23 PM »

The future may determine if younger Americans care less about finding Amelia Earhart, since they should know about the disappearance of cuban guerrilla fighter Camilio Cienfuegos while flying along the northern coast of cuba in 1959. If cuba has success in finding Camilio Cienfuegos, who knows?
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